In just the last few months, The Princess of Shoreditch, headed by up Great British Menu chef Ruth Hansom, has been awarded 3 AA Rosettes (the only pub in London with this honour) and Newcomer of the Year at the Top 50 Gastropubs Awards. Since we’d already been in downstairs for Sunday roast, we decided it was the perfect time to go up the cast iron staircase to the dining room to try Ruth’s fine dining food.
The pub is split in two, with the downstairs bar serving an a la carte menu of elevated pub grub (burgers and nachos it ain’t), and a more formal dining room up top with modern British five- or eight-course tasting menus on offer. We went for the full eight (go big or home right) and when the snacks arrived – a smoked salmon bonbon, a cheese-topped crumpet, and a Jerusalem artichoke skin filled with venison tartare – followed by a bread basket that came with truffle and marmite butters, we knew we were in for quite a dinner.
Each of the eight courses showcased Ruth’s modern style and her skill in balancing flavours to a tee and though they were all as pretty as a picture, it definitely wasn’t a case of style over substance. Highlights for us were the sweet onion, stuffed with a Keens cheddar mousse and served with an onion tea that tasted like the best French onion soup ever and a plate of the most delicate handmade crisps; a flaky piece of south coast gurnard on a carrot, celeriac and fennel risotto, with the vegetables cut into incredibly small and even cubes showing the attention to detail in the kitchen, finished with a heady bisquey sauce; perfectly pink salt aged duck with a potato terrine layered with shredded duck leg, artichoke and pickled plum to cut through the richness; and in-season Yorkshire rhubarb with white chocolate and thin shards of caramelised fennel, which amazingly wasn’t oversweet as all white choc desserts tend to be.
At £75 per person for the eight course menu, it’s excellent value for the standard of food and if she keeps cooking like this, the awards are only going to keep coming for Ruth and The Princess of Shoreditch.
76–78 Paul Street, London, EC2A 4NE